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Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of… A Really Fun Family Day


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Why are you a photographer? For many, and at least for me, it is about capturing memories. I want to document life as it happens.  I do love portraits, but sometimes the most valuable pictures are not “portraits” – they are snapshots of life.

This summer at a charity event, we bid on a Detroit Tigers Game Package.  And won. It included the following: watch batting practice on the field at Comerica Park, meet a player, dinner in the Tiger Club, Tiger Den seats, and watch the fireworks from the visitors’ dugout.  It was amazing.  We had the best time from beginning to end.  And while we probably would remember it no matter what, having “snapshots” of the day will help us relive the experience.

Remember to capture memories for your family. These were shot with the Tamron 28-300 Zoom lens (and you may see a 15mm Fisheye shot mixed in). I did not bring my primes and L lenses with me. And while I did edit these quickly, I did not worry about major color correction or sun spots and squinting or grain (many of the shots either in full sun or once it got dark at ISO 6400 with no flash).  I just captured what I saw.  I would love to hear your thoughts on how you capture memories. How do you capture and process your family shots?

Here are my girls before the game.  Full sun, not a cloud to be found:

tigers-game1 Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

Here we are on the field at batting practice.  Again bright sun, and of course fun! I do wish I could have moved around the field but we had to stay in about a 10 foot squared space.  Still fun to be this close up.

batting-practice Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

We met Rick Porcello and he signed batting practice used baseballs for the girls. Ellie was bummed she did not get to meet Maggs, but Rick has a chance to be the Rookie of the Year. Very cool.

rick-porcello2 Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

And we got to meet Curtis Granderson.

meeting-granderson Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

Then the girls got to try on the biggest ring ever!

we-are-the-champions Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

Here was our view from the Tiger Club at dinner.  Used the Fisheye on this one. And while my husband says this is a “toy” lens, I think he may come around a little on that opinion now…

special-tigers-game-107 Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

Here are some snaps from during the game – of the girls, the game, and the surroundings:

detroit-tigers-game Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

And the fireworks… I am not the biggest fan of fireworks.  I was completely unprepared to take pictures.  But Ellie and Jenna asked me to.  So I did.  I did not have a tripod – so these were taken at 1/8-1/250 – depending on the shot. Basically I broke every rule of photographing fireworks.  But here are the shots anyway. Check out my article on The Pioneer Woman’s Site for more details on how I captured these Fireworks shots.

fireworks Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

fireworks2 Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration

I just had to show this last shot of the girls in the dugout after the fireworks.  I just love the way it turned out – color issues, grain and all.

fireworks3 Snapshots: What Memories Are Made Of... A Really Fun Family Day MCP Thoughts Photo Sharing & Inspiration


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  1. nancy m on August 26, 2009 at 9:38 am

    WOW! Amazing TIGER shots. Didn’t know you lived so close to Detroit??? I live in OHIO and my family LOVES the TIGERS:)

  2. Krista on August 26, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Although I must admit I’d love to expand my photography beyond friends and family, my focus is pretty much restricted to snapshots of the everyday. I take my camera to the ball fields, the gymnasium, the park, the zoo, and on vacation. I take it to family gatherings, whether they’re spur of the moment visits or planned parties. More often than not, I have unwilling subjects who roll their eyes and make faces when the camera come out. I am the family photographer. Not just of my husband and sons, but of the entire family. I take so many pictures my family members rarely bring their cameras to an event they know I’ll be at. I love it. I love capturing the everyday moments. The interactions between husbands and wives, between siblings or cousins. My Flickr photostream is full of these everyday moments. Looking through those pictures, weeks, months or even years later, I’m transported back to a day and time, to a feeling.

  3. Regina on August 26, 2009 at 11:07 am

    HOLY COW! These are great. Who cares that some rules in photography are broken. The girls aren’t going to say in 20 years oh mom didn’t set the right ISO, or boy this one has the wrong color. I love em’ I love just capturing a moment that includes a loved one having a memorable moment to treasure forever even after we the photographer is gone. Love them. Also jealous since I have been wanting to go to a Tigers game forever and live like what 2 hours away.

  4. Jennifer Connelly on August 26, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I’m curious how much effort people put into their personal shots. I blog stalk Nate Kaiser’s blog and notice that his family snap shots have the same “look” as his portraits for his clients. It makes me wonder how much editing time he puts in to the family stuff!! I would LOVE for all my personal stuff to have such a cool look, but I don’t feel like putting in the time.Maybe he has his assistant do it??

  5. Allison on August 26, 2009 at 11:22 am

    These are great Jodi. I have a hard time remembering that not all pictures I take of my family need to be the perfect portraits and have to be completely scrutinized in ps. Some pictures just need to capture the memories of the moment. I am horrible with this because I don’t remember this when editing family pictures so for the most part my family pictures are unedited and nobody sees any. I really need to take your speed editing course!

  6. Sarah on August 26, 2009 at 11:35 am

    OOh looks like a blast! The fireworks shots are golden.

  7. Gina Fensterer on August 26, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Love it!! Snapshots really do capture the memories so well, as they are so candid! I just blogged several snapshots of our family’s fun before bed…and I know those memories will be lasting, even with the blurry shots! 🙂

  8. Melissa Espindola on August 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Wow… those are some great shots!! When I first started learning photography a few years ago I carried around all my best gear to EVERYTHING! It gets old and heavy after a while! I also found myself thinking more about the shot and less about the memory! I was a little obsessive! Recently my family and I took a beach vacation and I didn’t want to be this way on this vacation! I wanted to enjoy every moment of it… so I bought a waterproof point and shot of decent quality and only took shots with it. Let me tell you it was VERY freeing! I just threw it in my purse!!! NO big bag, no changing lens, none of that! Just us being us and enjoying life! So I like the new camera me… I’m sad to admit though I cannot not edit the pics!!! Terrible I know! So my family waits for the pics still cause I have client pics that have to come first etc! So I am half way there!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this! I often wonder if I’m looney or something so I’m glad to know how another photographer does it! And GREAT “snapshots” as you call them!!!

  9. Leesa on August 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    So what do you DO when you give your snaps a “quick edit” in photoshop? That’s what I am constantly struggling with. I do not want to give my family snapshots an editing treatment like I do an artsy photo, and am kind of unsure just what works best and fastest for this before sending off to be printed.

  10. Beth B on August 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Great shots Jodi! And thanks for the great reminder! I definitely need to take more snap of my family!

  11. Kris on August 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    They are awesome! I wish my snapshots looked like yours!I’ve always been about capturing my kids life, so they can look back and have memories. My family didn’t take photos when we were growing up – so there are baby pictures and then basically nothing but the once a year school photo.When I went digital several years ago, I became the unofficial photographer of his youth football team. He is now a sophomore in high school and I take those, also wrestling, and still some at the youth level. There are way too many sports photos to process, so for them I shoot jpeg and landscape mode. Basically the same way for every day family life. I process the ones I know I will print, put in a coffee table book, or show on my blog (although the football ones up there now have no processing – SOOC).Did I ramble too much!One more thing since I hardly comment – thanks so much for your tutorials! I’ve learned so much!

  12. Heather Price........vanilla moon on August 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    These are ALL amazing,i LOOVE the fireworks shots,the colours are fabulous,i will need to try this out when we have a display next,thanks for all the help you give everyone in achieving better shots!!!!!

  13. Tracy on August 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I lived outside Detroit from 5th-7th grade and was a HUGE Tigers Fan! So cool for your girls! Great pictures and WHAT a RING! Wow!

  14. Christine M on August 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I just love your photo memories of the day. They show the excitement, energy and fun of the entire day. How lucky your family is to have you to document these fun, family times of everyone together! 🙂 You always inspire me.

  15. marissa moss on August 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    gorgeous fisheye photo!!cute, cute family too 🙂

  16. Lisa E on August 26, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    LOVE the shots! So, on a fun outing like that, what kind of bad do you use to carry around your gear?

  17. Kristin on August 27, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Love them – looks like an awesome day out.I adore taking snaps of life and just purchased a new baby camera so I’ll never use the excuse that I don’t want to deal with a camera or that I want to travel super light again. The other compacts I own I’ve deemed “too big” (like the great Canon A720 or A590) or “too frustrating” (like Olympus’ 720SW). I ordered the Canon SD1200 and can’t wait to lay hands on it. I firmly believe that everyone should have a pocket camera always in reach.

  18. David Akesson on August 27, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Well doneLove the vibe you portrayand the girls look like they were right into the experience.I remember taking my daughters to events when they were similar ages and they remember so vividly various aspects that got imprinted in their memory. The photo’s simply round out the memory but are sooooo important.Fabulous post – worth its weight in gold.DavidA

  19. Candice & Daniel Lanning on August 27, 2009 at 10:41 am

    i. heart. detroit.

  20. Jennifer on August 27, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Great pics!I used to fret about my personal photos all the time, and spent alot of time on them. I just don’t have the time anymore….so now I usually just throw my point and shoot in my purse for the birthday parties and such and don’t worry about it if they are not perfect, as long as I document the moment!!

  21. bleachusd on August 28, 2009 at 3:18 am

    While I’m by no means a “photographer,” I do have a love affair with photography. I’ve always loved taking pictures, but for so long I was always super critical of my amateur shots.When my grandpa passed away last summer, I realized that it didn’t not matter how “terrible” the photo was, if he was in it, I loved it. I was grateful. Noise. Scratches. Blown out. Whatever it was, it didn’t matter. Now, while I still tend to criticize my pictures, I’m much more lenient. I’m glad to have the moments captured with the people I love.This was the perfect entry.

  22. Megan Rutherford on August 28, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Jodi!! Thank you, thank you for posting these great photographs! I recently moved away from Detroit in February of this year and I’m incredibly homesick for the Tigers. You just fulfilled my summer that has been lacking baseball. Amazing shots (as usual) and what a great “up close and personal” experience you guys got. I MISS IT!!!! Thank you for sharing. Go Tigers!Megan

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